Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday, Feb 6th, 2011 Xela Time Baby!

12:24 pm  On the Road
Currently on route to Xela. We just finish lunch at a “Kape Paulinos”. I had Pollos (ckicken) tortillas, fried chive onions, and potatoes. But after the free nachos we got for an appetizer I was quite full. The guacamole is the soo incredible here. It’s so sweet. I thru some on my tortillas and chicken! I found some sandels to wear at a market outside the restaurant. I payed about 200Q. I shoulda hassled haha. That is about $25 Canadian. Lunch was 35Q which is about 4 dollars and I could barely finish it. 

view from my window
fountain in the lobby of La Posada
Last night after getting settled at “La Posada” we went into the market on foot. The drive into Antigua took about an hour. Seeing Guatemala city out the window like that was wild. They have these cross walk BRIDGES over the road, with staircases on either side. Traffic doesn’t really stop here. There’s very few lights and almost no stop signs. People just honk and whoever gets in gets in. A whole new meaning to offensive driving. Unfortunately because I hadn’t really slept, I passed out on the way, and woke up once we were in Antigua. The roads are so bad there. You practically twist your ankle on each step. All the roads are hand laid stone tho. So it’s also quite beautiful.  I’m sad I fell asleep because around each bend and twist in the road, something even more amazing is revealed. Like a new cluster of houses, or a deep gorge filled with farms on the sides of the hills, or families washing their clothes or selling fruit by the side of the road.
While on our way to the market in Antigua, I saw the young man I ran into while waiting at the airport for the other GSP members. He was walking with his friend who he was waiting for.  They had just finished eating their 2nd dinner he said. They were getting food from the food market, which has different tents cooking different things in each one, right in front of you.
We ate dinner at such an incredible restaurant possibly called “Casa Ricko”, max thinks. It was such an incredible place. You walk in and it looks like a normal store front and bakery, then you keep walking. You pass by some nice art, and then come out to this opening with no roof. And a bathtub with huge plants growing in it haha. Then you keep going and you see something that can only be described as restaurant paradise! There’s plants, flowers, and birds in cages hanging from fruit trees! All lit up by lights hidden within the plants, and candles sitting on the rock gardens. Each table has a its only tent/umbrella covering and a flower in a beer bottle. With the sounds of Joss Stone emanating from the stereo haha. FIREWORKS exploding from the outside the foliage covered rock walls. And a beautiful view of the stars over-head. The Constellation are really clear here. 
Children and older women often approach you selling fruits, jewelry, and scarfs constantly. Even into the night. I konked out early last night and slept in a bit today. I was up around 7:20am. Showered (with my mouth closed!) Then I went up to the roof of the hotel which Max was raving about that morning. With good reason!! Definitly a breathtaking view of the Volcano and surrounding mountains. After I went to breakfast at the place next door (that I believe is attached to the hotel) that had a woman who worked at the front desk at our hotel the night before working at it. I talked with a group of Americans at breakfast for bit. I had some fresh papaya, watermelon and pineapple with cooked tofu (which I thought was an omelet), some cooked plantains slices and these tiny fluffy pancakes. They had syrup too! And the coffee was muey bueno!
a ruin i could see from the rooftop patio of La Posada

view of the volcano in Antigua (name escapes me)
Our driver, who was fantastic!
He's from Xela too.

   After that I took a walk around town. I had about 15 or something  minutes before our shuttle arrived for Xela (Shay-la)and everyone else was out walking around as well. I found this fenced-in ruin down the road. But it had tours. So I’ll do that when I return to Antigua on the 17th. I was a little nervous going out alone so I took my small camera. But it was only 9:15 am so there wasn’t really anything to worry about at this time.

 I ended up at this barbed wire, fenced, and locked playground at the end of the street our hotel was on. I was drawn there by a bright coloured tree. I later saw when we were leaving in the shuttle a park just further down the road, so I’ll be returning there as well. While walking around Antigua where we stayed, there’s just hostel after hostel and all the convenience stores are barred at the cashes. 

just one of the many random things you see
on motorcycles here, including families of 4

Whilst Antiguans zip by on their motorcycles, old trucks, or brand new SUV’s haha.

view of lake Atitan and San Pedro Volcano? From the Merced

The scenery here is mind boggling! We stopped at a small market to take pictures of lake Atitlan and the Volcanoes by it. The entire drive to Xela is very curvey and we just go higher and higher up into the mountains.
There’s large to small clusters of towns and slums every couple minutes around each bend. The roads are paved luckily, and even double laned. But there’s a lot of road construction going on because of the storm Agatha which caused a lot of mudslides. So some roads are being rebuilt.
We just reached a point where we drove thru the clouds near the top of the volcanoes elevation.
2:15pm Current altitutude 3000m above sea level.
3:36pm back on the road

Stopped to take pictures of the Volcano “santa maria” and Xela below in the valleys. The driver just stopped on the highway right now so we could get one last shot. Dios Mi! it was fantastic
6:30pm Settled and time to munch

Met for dinner at the “Blue Angel” (sorta a sports bar). Lots of trekkers were there to watch the super bowl. I had the macaroni pasta with garlic bread. It wasn’t very good. Really watery haha.

Before that we walked to the market which was mostly closed but I got my first taste of the town, and my first ATM problem Amigos! I tried to take out 1000Quetzals twice. First time failed, 2nd time it loaded and loaded then said “thanks for using (name)” and went back to the start screen. Nothing was taken out I confirmed later. I assume it’s probably because there wasn’t enough money in the machine, and later Karen (at dinner) informed me she locked us out of our room after she asked me if I had the key.. which I left for her on the bed. But she had just gotten her luggage back after having it be lost for a few days since she flew out of Ottawa during that big storm. And it had been searched. But nothing was taken. A soccer ball was taken out of her travel companion Margarita’s bag tho when it was lost and searched too. Back to the locked out of room situation tho. This has happened before at this Hostel apparently. And there is only one key per room. And the hostel doesn’t have extra’s haha.. sooo Max climbed through the window whole (where we had removed the slits of glass that just slid in) we had to (Andre had to) lift him up so he could go feet first. Because, face first would have been quite a drop to the floor.  Haha All worked out tho..

1 comment:

  1. hahaha, showered with your mouth closed. GOOD girl! :P

    this all sounds so awesome Barbie! I wasn't before, but now I'm supremely jealous! Keep it up! I enjoy your writings! and can't wait to see some of these pictures you claim to have taken!